Close friend's daughter just purchased a large chunk of land in rural Montana. Bears are plentiful in the area and even Elk and Moose during their rut season are dangerous to humans. The few residents in the area all pack heavy duty weapons fearing both Black and Grizzly bear attacks. 44 mags I'm told seem to be preferred by most in the area. Some carry rifles.
My friend's daughter not being real experienced with guns and recoil sensitive opted for a Weatherby 20 ga SD shotgun for protection. We are now debating if she should pack slugs or buckshot. I tend to favor Federal #4 buckshot, my bud, her father prefers slugs. She looked online and is hooked on Hornady reduced recoil slugs. The Hornady slug is only 250grs but a respectable velocity of 11-1200 FPS.
If I had to choose slugs I'd go for one of the heavier 7/8 ounce lead slugs. Just not sure she could handle the recoil and get off a second shot. 00 buckshot in 20ga at best is limited to only 11 or 12 pellets vs 24 in #4 or 18 with #3. I'm far from being an expert on bear attacks. I'd be comfortable with just about any buck or slug load for Black Bears. I believe Black Bears are considered to be thin skinned game animals. From my limited knowledge of Grizzly Bears. I'd want a rifle of at least 35 or more caliber.
What'cha think?? What load and why would you choose if you were limited to a 20ga SD pump shotgun??